CHAZY — Cars filled the parking lot at the Chazy Recreation Park off North Farm Road.
Another Old Home Day had arrived and area residents gathered for a day of food, fun and good company under the summer sun.
More than 300 people browsed vendor booths, played games and listened to live country style music by Neil and Glenn Gillespie and the band Just Us.
“It’s awesome. You couldn’t pick a better day,” Old Home Day Chairman Tom Botten said. “It’s the highlight of the summer for Chazy.”
New this year was the Girl Scouts children’s game tent with a bouncy house. It turned out to be very popular with the younger attendees, Botten said.
“We hope they come back every year and do this.”
Souza’s Mystic Minnies and Friends were also a hit as well as the traditional Lions Club chicken barbecue and food booth.
The profits of the event go to the Chazy Lions Club and the organization uses the funds for various charitable projects.
And while the event was a success, there is always room for improvement, Botten said.
The Chazy Lions Club’s 28 active members will hold a meeting this week to discuss what went well during the event as well as ways to improve future Old Home Days.
Botten said he asked two soccer coaches from Chazy Central School to recruit their players to work at the event.
One of the players, Brandon Laurin, 18, a senior at Chazy Central was there working the soda and beverage stand.
“It’s a blast,” he said. “I like looking at all the cars and meeting new people,” as well as seeing old friends, Laurin said.
arrived a couple of hours before the start of Old Home Day and planned to work until it ended at 5:30 p.m.
Event attendees could be seen milling around the field where about 20 cars were parked for the classic car show.
Andrew LaSalle of West Chazy, who has attended Old Home Day for four years, brought his 3-year-old son, Noah, and his wife, Tara.
“It’s something for this rural area for people to go to” and enjoy the music and pleasant weather, LaSalle said.
He said a farmers market and clothing vendors would be a great addition to the event.
Arthur Bechard, 97, and his great grandson, 1-month-old Brayden Bechard, were the oldest and youngest members in attendance and each received a gift certificate.
Dan Nephew won the Chazy Playground Committee’s 50/50 raffle and donated his $103.50 prize back to the committee, and brought them a little closer to their $40,000 goal that would allow for the installation of new playground equipment at the rec park.
The long-anticipated moment was just before 2 p.m. when the Old Home Day king and queen were crowned.
Richard and Florence Mattot, both 68, of Chazy were all smiles as they took their royal dance.
The two were high school sweethearts and have been living in the same farm house in Chazy for 49 years, Florence said.
“You realize you’re old when you become king and queen of Old Home Day,” she said, laughing.
The Mattots started coming to the event when their three children, Tonia LaFountain, 48, Keith Mattot, 46, and Amy Harrington, 41, were small.
They kept the secret from their parents that they had been chosen by the Lions Club to be king and queen for three weeks, Richard said.
It is an honor to be crowned king of the event he has been attending with his family for so many years, he said.
He even had the “resale red” 1954 Thunderbird he restored himself on display in the car show.
Richard was the director of the physical plant at The William H. Miner Agricultural Institute in Chazy and Florence worked at the Press-Republican and in the banking industry until they both retired in 1998.
They spend part of the winter in Florida attending car shows and visiting friends.
But they always return to Chazy.
“I’ve lived in this town my whole life and it’s a good place to be,” Richard said.